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Shinku #1 – Review

Here’s a surprise: ANOTHER vampire title from Image.  Despite the massive amounts of vampire related stories the media’s been getting ever since Twilight hit book stores, Shinku is a fun romp that I can’t help but think of in comparison to Undying Love, another comic book about vampires that takes place in Hong Kong.  Shinku also has an exotic setting that is somewhat explored in this issue, and the art has a quality to it that makes it stand out on the shelf. Unfortunately there is little else that Shinku offers, but another surprise (without the sarcasm) is that this story is still fun to read. The story of Shinku opens with an American visiting Tokyo that is seduced and almost killed by a vampire.  Luckily for him, Shinku arrives on her motorcycle ready to save him.  He quickly learns that Shinku is the last member of a samurai clan that has dedicated her life to killing vampires.  Image Comics Shinku by Ron Marz with art by Lee Modder, Michael Atiyeh and Matthew Waite.The premise of the story written by Ron Marz is simple, to the point and fun.  It balances the thin line between a complex vampire story and just straight up gore.  But it does tend to stray towards the “straight up gore” category.  The story is basic which is a nice change but the almost overuse of blood and many gratuitous breast shots don’t really seem necessary…  I know it’s nice to have eye candy but it still doesn’t add anything to the story.  The setting also doesn’t seem to be utilized very much and with a setting like Tokyo there is a lot that can be done with it in the future that I look forward to seeing, hopefully woven within the story. The protagonist that seems to have a big focus in this story is Davis Gunn.  He seems like the typical teen thrust into a vampire situation in need of a vampire slayer to whip him into shape.  There’s not much to say about him yet, but so far he seems like your usual clichéd character in vampire lore.  Shinku is there to do it for him.  She is not too developed yet, with only two pages giving a quick history of her family.  She has an interesting story and seems like she could be a cool character to play around with but still needs more time to develop. Right now she’s just fun, but not too complex or fascinating.  But the way she’s drawn, like many other things in this issue, makes her all the more appealing. Even though I have mixed feelings about the art, it’s surprising how good it is considering how many different people worked on it.  The art is done by a team of three people: Lee Moder, Matthew Waite and Michael Atiyeh.  The characters and setting have a unique style that can be both pleasing and irritating to the eye. Blood and violence in the issue may be the biggest problem with the art.  The splatters of blood mostly look like ketchup and some violent scenes that are supposed to be impressive, like a full page dedicated to Shinku slicing a vampires head off, come off funny rather than violent – which actually adds to the fun, despite usually being something negative about the comic.  The positive mentioned before was about the great drawing of Shinku, who is mostly drawn as a voluptuous vixen always in beautiful blood-red colors.  Other great imagery is quickly given to readers at the beginning of the issue with a picture of Japanese style artwork.  Another great reason to add in more about the culture of Japan – it’s a great opportunity to add in more Japanese art that the artists are clearly capable of drawing well.  Everything else art-wise in the comic is not spectacular, but refreshing in a simple artistic style. This comic has a lot of elements that can easily be written off as simple.  But some of the art is pretty good and even when it’s bad it’s funny enough that I forgive it.  The story and characters are still heavily in development but it is only the first issue.  Despite the flaws, this issue is fun and that’s what really matters to me when I pick up a comic to read it. Overall – 7.6/10 *Good - A solid book overall, might not be for everyone but does have a fan base and they will definitely enjoy.*


Meet the Author

About / Bio
An all-around nerdette, I’m a comic book connoisseur, horror aficionado, video game addict, anime enthusiast and an aspiring novelist/comic book writer. I am the head of the comic book department and the editor-in-chief of Entertainment Fuse. I also write and edit articles for Comic Frontline. I am also an intern at Action Lab Entertainment, a comic book publisher at which I edit comic book scripts, help work on images in solicitations and help with other comic book related project. My own personal website is comicmaven.com.

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